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In Southern Arizona’s Cochise County, Chiricahua Community Health Centers (CCHC) is the largest provider of primary care, reaching a whopping 1 in 4 residents. CCHC was established in 1996 and serves roughly 30,000 patients every year.

Their 80 providers lean heavily on the expert volunteer physicians at MAVEN Project who provide specialty consultations, mentoring and continuing education. The partnership is essential, given the clinic’s rural locale and sizable uninsured population. Many of their patients can’t access needed specialists, either because they don’t have insurance or because they aren’t able to make the sometimes hours-long journey to reach one.

“Our clinicians do everything they can to support patients,” said Darlene Melk, CCHC’s Chief Medical Officer. “MAVEN Project volunteers provide much needed guidance. We’ve been able to prevent nearly 40 referrals so far this year because their consults are so thorough, customized and timely. Our doctors are able to confirm whether their approach is the best way to go and they’re able to access consults from the past if another similar case comes up. We love having access to their level of knowledge and training every day.”

And beyond consults on specific patient issues, physicians at CCHC are able to access continuing medical education sessions led by MAVEN’s volunteer physicians.

“Continued education is so important in a primary care environment,” Melk added. “We make time for our providers to attend 1-2 sessions every month, to help them prepare for everything from diabetes and hepatitis C to renal disease and psychiatric conditions.”

In a county where there are no endocrinologists, neurologists and other specialists, having MAVEN Project as a partner means that many patients are able to manage their care in-house. Physicians are better able to manage tricky or unique situations that they may not have faced in the past.

MAVEN Project gives them – and their patients – confidence in care.

Natalie Krumdieck, MD, is treating a young woman who she diagnosed with a rare pituitary growth. With the help of a MAVEN Project endocrinologist, Dr. Krumdieck has been able to manage her medications, testing and follow up care; something she wouldn’t have been comfortable doing otherwise.

“MAVEN Project volunteers are quick to respond and are always open to follow up questions,” Dr. Krumdieck noted. “Their support helps to confirm where to go next with a treatment plan and makes me feel so much more comfortable managing patient care. I’m really practicing at the top of my license with their help.”

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